Using intersectionality theory and arts-based approaches to understand the lived, educational experiences of children facing contexts of multiple deprivation


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the College of Health, Science and Society, UWE Bristol.  The studentship will be funded by the University of the West of England. 

Ref 2223-APR-CHSS03

The expected start date of this studentship is 01 April 2023

The closing date for applications is 12 February 2023

Studentship details

This project will engage with children to develop deeper understandings of their lived, educational experiences, with particular attention to how aspects of those experiences intersect for children who are living in contexts of multiple deprivation in the UK. The research brings together arts-based practice as a method and a tool for representation to explore children’s voices for the purpose of generating enhanced understandings which can be used in educational policy and practice for children. The research participants will be approached through primary schools.

However, the research findings and outcomes are likely to have relevance beyond education to include all policymakers and practitioners and academics whose work focuses upon children’s lives, such as those working in health, social care, social work, and law.

  • To engage with children to generate accounts of their lived, educational experiences with particular attention to intersecting aspects of their experiences (gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, linguistic diversity, social class, ability/disability);
  • To generate, explore and evaluate arts-based approaches to engaging with children to understand their lived, educational experiences;
  • To develop innovative and authentic approaches to analysing arts-based materials generated during the data elicitation process with children.

The study will be framed as an interpretative, narrative and arts-based qualitative study of educational experience, which will be co-produced between the researcher and children as participants. Particular attention will be given to engaging ethically, sensitively and in age appropriate ways with the children as participants to ensure that their voices are prioritised and elicited as authentically. The arts-based approaches developed will be responsive to the child participants, and as such the research methods and techniques of analysis will be co-produced. Part of the contribution of the doctoral work will be the researcher’s documentation of their research and arts-based practice.

The research will be carried out in phases as follows:

Phase 1: Review of existing education research regarding eliciting children’s voices, analysing outcomes of elicitation processes and integrating them into educational practice with children; accessing participants through educational settings and gaining voluntary informed consent;

Phase 2: Co-produced engagements with children using arts-based methods; documentation of processes;

Phase 3: Analysis of arts-based outcomes of co-production; return to educational settings to share co-produced processes of analysis and continue dialogues;

Phase 4: Writing up of research processes and outcomes to fulfil requirements for a UWE doctorate.

Please address any specific queries about the studentship to either: Jane Andrews, or Verity Jones  


The studentship is available from 01 April 2023 for a period of three and half years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £17,668 per annum. 

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years. 


Applicants must have qualifications up to and including a Master’s level degree in an area which closely relates to this interdisciplinary studentship. This could be one or more of the following: any area of socially-engaged arts practice, education, social work, law, social care and health.  In addition, applicants will need to provide evidence of prior experience in working ethically with children and families and of arts-based practice.

Please note that the studentship is available for UK applicants only.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-APR-CHSS03.

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 12 February 2023.

Further Information

It is expected that interviews will take place on weeks commencing 06 March 2023. If you have not heard from us by this date, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.


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